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Father fatally stabbed on train ‘taunted attacker’

Darren Pencille, of no fixed address, denies murder.

Lee Pomeroy (Family Handout/PA)
Lee Pomeroy (Family Handout/PA)

A father who was fatally stabbed 18 times in 25 seconds by another train passenger taunted his attacker, a court has heard.

Lee Pomeroy, 51, was stabbed by 36-year-old Darren Pencille five minutes after boarding a London-bound train at Guildford, Surrey, on January 4 with his 14-year-old son, the Old Bailey has heard.

Jurors have previously heard how it is claimed a row which erupted between the IT consultant and Pencille was over the blocking of an aisle.

Witness Kayleigh Carter, who was asked by Justin Rouse QC, defending Pencille, whether Mr Pomeroy was picking on his client, said: “I wouldn’t say picking on him, but he was taunting him.”

Giving evidence from behind a screen, she told Jacob Hallam QC, prosecuting, that she saw an older man who had greyish hair and a younger black man enter the far end of her carriage.

She described to the court how they were talking at first, but not very loudly and directly to each other, adding: “It seemed like they had a tiff.”

Initially not paying too much attention, she said there was no mention of violence and that they then moved to the middle of the carriage towards her, with Mr Pomeroy following Pencille.

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Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of Darren Pencille appearing at Staines Magistrates’ Court in January (Elizabeth Cook/PA)

“I remember one of them, I do not remember which one, said ‘All I did was be in the way’. I thought it was really petty if it was just about that,” she said.

Ms Carter said the younger man was angry, but that she did not sense the same emotions from the older man, stating he was more “stern, stubborn and patronising”.

Hearing Mr Pomeroy say “I have never dealt with someone with special needs before”, Ms Carter said that was the first thing she heard that was “really fuelling the anger”.

She said Pencille then said “I am hearing voices right now”, which panicked her.

Ms Carter said Pencille picked up a phone and that she clearly heard him say “I am going to kill this man”, adding that she did not think the call was real as it went through quite quickly.

I saw blood straight away, I panicked after that because I had to run through it Kayleigh Carter

“I remember the other man’s response was exactly what I was thinking,” she told the court. “He said, ‘Well you got through really quickly’.”

She said that both of the men were saying they were going to fight at the next station, with the pair eventually becoming “really up and personal”, adding how “neither of them were backing down”.

Hearing Pencille call Mr Pomeroy a racist, she said he responded by saying that if anyone was a racist it was him.

With the argument continuing “for quite a while” and Pencille “really shouting”, she said her path out of the carriage was blocked.

Ms Carter said she saw Pencille strike Mr Pomeroy first, telling the court: “I saw blood straight away, I panicked after that because I had to run through it.”

Heading into another carriage and past the two men, she said blood ended up on her bag.

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Police on the platform at Horsley station near Guildford where the train stopped (PA)

The court has previously heard how Mr Pomeroy, who was due to turn 52 the day after the “quick and frenzied attack”, was stabbed 18 times in 25 seconds.

Once the train stopped at Clandon station, the prosecution claim Pencille left the scene and then made his way past the home of Rowena Dodwell just before 1.15pm and into a woodland area.

Giving evidence, Ms Dodwell told the court how when she saw Pencille he was “sweating profusely and slightly distressed”.

“It was not usual to see someone go over a fence and come back – no-one goes over there,” she said of the private field, saying that Pencille told her he had been in an accident and needed to get back to work.

Heading into the field once he had left and she had posted on a neighbourhood watch group about him with a description, she said she discovered a hat with blood on the inside.

Afterwards, Pencille’s girlfriend, Chelsea Mitchell, 27, allegedly picked him up and bought hair clippers and razors for him to change his appearance.

Pencille, of no fixed address, denies murder, and Mitchell, of Farnham, Surrey, pleads not guilty to assisting an offender.

Ingrid Robertson, the defendant’s mother, told the court under questioning by Mr Rouse that when her son was in his 20s she was told he was paranoid schizophrenic.

She said Pencille has been admitted to hospital a few times and struggled in crowded situations, where he would often panic and become anxious.

“He always thought people were looking at him or wanted to do something to him,” she said.

The trial continues.

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